your new photographer bestie
Who I am:
main character moment
hi friends, I'm mark
Why do I love photographing love so much you may ask? Good question. I've been asking myself the same thing for quite some time, but the best answer I can give is (not the fact that I've actually never been in love, which would be a funnier response) but because I just think love is beautiful. We are all so loved by the man of most high, and I truly believe my calling on this earth is to capture and share his artwork and
beauty - you.
I discovered photography through the iPhone portrait mode, and believe it or not I shot my first 15(ish) sessions on my sweet little iPhone 7 plus (not sponsored but I totally should be). I had a fascination with the idea of focusing on one object or subject and allowing everything else to blur and fade away. I began photographing friends for fun, and then very rapidly started receiving DM's to shoot senior sessions, engagement sessions, and you guessed it - weddings. I was not about to shoot an entire wedding on an iPhone, so I invested in my very first camera that I purchased through facebook marketplace my freshman year of college in 2017. Fast forward 5 years, I would've never guessed this investment would change my life.
Who I am apart from photography says a lot about why I do what I do. Ever since I could remember I dreamed of being a doctor. As a first generation high school graduate and college student, this just felt like something I had to do. In the summer of 2017, I moved away from my small town (Scottsbluff, NE) to Lincoln, NE where I attended the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.
I was a pretty smart kid all through school, but for some reason college really gave me a run for my money. Being the hardworking and stubborn person I am, I refused to give up and spent hundreds of hours in the library with my nose in a textbook learning about formulas I would never use in my life. I did this for 5 whole years. Honestly, just writing about this my palms are beginning to sweat, and I still feel that lingering anxiety. I say this because I had fully convinced myself that this was what I was meant to do. Following the societal norm of getting a prestigious degree to be deemed 'successful' was all I ever wanted. But the other half of me, the creative and spontaneous kid who loved to adventure, was slowly dying away. Failing exam after exam, I quite literally began to see an uglier version of myself in the mirror every time I had the courage to look.
I always wondered at the back of my mind how different my life would be if I just said screw it - if I just gave up on this false image of myself I created over the past 15 years and followed my true passions. But if anyone was going to do it, it was me. I've always been the type of person to achieve anything I put my mind to, whether it be learning a new skill or making a life changing & risky decision.
On January 14th, 2022, I got an email from my academic advisor informing me that there was a conflict with my schedule for the next semester which would require me to graduate another year later, giving me the title of a 6th year senior. At that moment I knew that I was done letting school dictate my life and hold me back from chasing my dreams. I knew that I wasn't going to return that next semester, and it was time for me to make my dreams a reality. So I did that.
I had been praying about this for years. Every breakdown I had in the library or in my car before class I would beg God to show me who I'm meant to be, but he was doing that this entire time. I truly believe that the reason why I struggled in college so much was because this was God's way of saying 'Mark, this is not the plan I have for you. I have a plan so much more fulfilling that I that I'm going to use you with.'
Faith is a tremendous part of my life. I grew up in a christian household with the most supportive and loving parents. The daily good morning inspirational texts from my mom in college, saying how proud of me she is, and how much she loves me is one of the reasons why I never gave up. They both continue to support me in whatever decision I make in life.
The amount of tremendous testimonies I have proving that this is my calling is insane - but I'll save those for another time (I have an IG highlight story of a few). I am so beyond happy now doing what I love every single day, and I know that the reason you're on my page is not simply by coincidence, but by destiny. We were meant to connect, and I want to share your story through the gift God has given me.